As social media expands into our lives at a lightning clip, consumers expect genuine, real-time dialogue with their favorite brands. This shift has pushed traditional media to evolve and adapt to the fast-moving advertising climate, leaving many marketers wondering if it still has a place in our 140-characters-or-less culture.
So does it?
The short answer: yes. Not all consumers are created equal. Their needs, wants, and behaviors vary all over the map. They communicate and connect with brands both digitally and traditionally – sometimes simultaneously.
Build your strategy around questions like: Which channels do my audience occupy? What kind of information are they looking for? What products or services do they want?
Through the decision-making process, your consumer will likely toggle between several different channels on more than one occasion. Successful brands streamline the customer journey across all channels to achieve an end-to-end journey for every sale.
Traditional and social media should not be viewed as mutually exclusive. With the customer experience becoming more and more integrated, it’s more important than ever to test different promotion mixes to see what brings you the greatest ROI.
In the Fusion Marketing Bible, author Lon Safko outlines seven steps to properly integrate media for maximum performance:
Analyze your existing media.
How much are you spending to communicate your message? Take a look at the costs associated with customer acquisition and return on investments biannually and after each campaign close-out. From there, determine the overall effectiveness of your efforts.
Focus first on the social media trinity.
Try not to stretch your social media presence too thin, too fast. Hone in on the “Big 3” for social media and content marketing purposes: blogging, Twitter, and either Facebook or LinkedIn.
Infuse your “Social Media Trinity” with the power of your digital tools.
Once you’re well-established on the Big 3 platforms, start integrating your digital tools into your social media efforts. We’re talking SEO, SEM, CRM, email, etc. Infusing the analytical and technical power of digital tools into your social media will give it a supercharged boost that will elevate your efforts to the next level across all channels.
Online interactions to in-store transactions.
Traditional media delivers a single message through one-way communication to a diverse and uncontrolled audience. Social media delivers several messages through two-way communication to a targeted audience. Recruiting first-time buyers today requires a number of touchpoints.
Be on the lookout for opportunities to link these two forms of communication, fusing their strengths together to amplify your message even further. Consumers often view online shopping as a research tool before making an in-store purchase. Supplement your messaging efforts with targeted campaigns that use engaging, targeted content to drive sales in stores.
Use traditional media as a social driver.
Especially if you’re just getting started on social media, use your established channels (like print or radio) to promote your social channels. Invite customers to join the conversation with exclusive offers or contests, with access codes available only through traditional channels.
Boost social conversations in the traditional space.
Give a positive Facebook review more mileage by publishing it somewhere on your website or repurposing it in headlines or body copy. It will give the customer a boost and demonstrate your social listening skills.
Expand the story on social media.
While traditional media succeeds in mass reach, it offers a limited window for communicating your message – basically whatever you can fit into the window of a radio spot, TV commercial, or newspaper placement.
Shoppers may become aware of your product through an older mode of communication but in today’s online recommendation culture, social media remains second only to family, friends, and financial incentives as a motivator of purchase.
Extend your story beyond the traditional frameworks through serialized content on your social media channels to keep your consumers engaged and intrigued.
Safko states in the Fusion Marketing Bible that companies like IBM are reporting that prospects respond at a 3-5% rate on average to integrated marketing campaigns, an increase of 73% over standard email campaigns. Businesses such as TransUnion have learned that the missing component to their ROI was the integration of social media, earning $2.5 million in savings in less than five months while spending just $50K.
Lon also cites an instance in which a high-profile, Fortune 500 company acquired over 19 million friends without evidence of monetization or strategy. While your foray into integrated marketing will likely not be on that scale, it serves as a reminder that whatever steps you take will only be as effective as the strategy behind them.
The overall number of fans means nothing if they’re inactive, non-engaged users. Lesson: iteratively implement and measure the value you received. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
Long gone are the days of simply pushing one message through every channel. A truly integrated marketing program is the only way to achieve synergy and maximize the outcome of your efforts.
Need help managing your marketing assets and controlling your brand?
Schedule a live demo of our Stream360 Marketing on Demand platform today!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2016. It has been updated for freshness, clarity, and comprehensiveness.